Friday, November 30, 2012

Analysis: Final Fantasy VII Leitmotifs

I've been experimenting with how to make a multimedia experience that is both entertaining and educational.  I've tried to create the perfect blend in this video that I'm debuting today.  Likely, I won't be able to make a ton of these, as the entire video creation process probably took me around 20 hours, not to mention playing the game to analyze the music.  (That was fun, of course, but still... have you seen In Time?)

Now, I'm beginning the long process of surveying the internet for game music analysis.  There's practically nothing "scholarly" with specific game music analysis at all.  There's a little bit of information I've found on Leitmotifs in Final Fantasy 7, for instance SWE3Tmadness has a blog with a few entries on game music.  Notably, he compares Kefka, Golbez, and Sephiroth's themes.  Otherwise, there might be a printed mention here and there, but I wanted to create a multimedia experience that incorporates gameplay video, music, and my own analysis into a complete package.



  1. There's only one thing that disappoints about the music of FF7. I've never been able to pick out the series theme (the one that plays during the resurrection phase of the fight with Zeromus in FF2) at any point in FF7. I don't hear it in FF10 either. I'm a little sad when I get to the very end of those games without hearing the series theme.

    But watching this video, it occurred to me that the series main theme might be hidden in with the other music. Is the theme in there, and I'm just missing it? If not, any idea why they didn't use it here?

  2. As far as I know, it only plays during the final credits. The melody is slightly different-- but it sounds quite like the end of FF IV to me, especially in the last 30 seconds or so when the theme ends in the 6ths. It's your reward for finishing the game.

    You can see it in this video from 3:30-the end.

    Does anybody know if it plays otherwise?

  3. That's obviously it, and not hidden as part of a motif. But I've played the PS2 version dozens of times, and I've never noticed this. Where does this play in the course of the game?

  4. I just finished listening through to all the music from Final Fantasy 9 and noticed that, like FF7, they save the final tune for the ending credits. You can see it in this video from 6:03- 7:50. I don't recall hearing any of the motives from it earlier in the game music, and I did have my ear more tuned in for that kind of thing from your earlier comment. I can't say with absolute certainty that it's not snuck into FF7 without giving the music another listen, but I didn't catch it playing the game recently, so I doubt it's anywhere but the end. Maybe Uematsu has started saving that theme for endgame only? Haven't played FF10 because I never owned a PS2... but I did scroll through the credits on YouTube and it doesn't play during them.